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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
    Posts
    5

    Default From Chicago, IL to Sandusky, OH

    Hello everybody, greetings from Brazil!

    I found RTA by chance while looking for driving tips in the USA and I loved it! Lots of good tips and plenty of information about road trips.

    This is my first post and I'd appreciate if someone here could help me with any tip.

    I'm going to the U.S. in May for a short vacation, and I'll be driving from Chicago (O'Hare airport) to Sandusky, OH (Cedar Point). As I'll pass thru three different states, and all the main highways are toll roads (I-90, I-80), I'd like to know if it's possible to pay the toll fares in cash, or is it necessary to have those chip passes installed in the car (EZ-Pass, I-Pass, etc). The reason I am asking this, it's because the only driving experience that I had previously in America, was in Florida last year, when I drove from Orlando to Miami, and the car I rented at that time, had a chip called SunPass, and along the Florida Turnpike I remember some booths where it wasn't possible to pay in cash (at least that was the impression that I had).

    I don't know if I made myself clear, but I'd appreciate any help in this case.

    About the length of the trip, I know it won't be a huuuge road trip (only 310 miles approx.), do you think it is fair to drive all that distance after a 10 hour flight (I'll land in O'Hare around 6 AM)? Any other tip you could give me?

    Thanks in advance.

    Lucio

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,908

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    All of the major spots where you get on the Tollways and/or cross state lines will accept cash. There are a few minor exit ramps (ones that are mostly used by commuters) where cash is no longer accepted, but those are fairly rare. You should, however, check with your car rental company, as they might already have a toll transponder installed in the car and you need to see what their policies are in regards to using it/how you will be charged. Keep in mind, cash rates are higher than IPass/EZPass rates, so even if they charge a fee for using it, it could be cheaper for you overall.

    I would not recommend trying to make this drive after your flight from Brazil. The biggest issue is that with a 6am arrival, that means you'd be getting on the road in the peak of Chicago's brutal morning rush. O'Hare is on the Northwest side of Chicago, so you have to go all the way across the city, and at that time of day, it will be a slow and painfully challenging drive. I would not want to do that after a 10 hour flight, especially since its likely it will have been a very long time since you've actually be in a bed!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Dear Michael,

    Thank you so much for your response! I must confess that I hadn't thought of the rush hour, but unfortunately I don't have many options, and I need to get to Sandusky on the day of my arrivel in US. What is the rush hour time in Chicago? According to the itinerary I told you (O'Hare-Indiana-Ohio) will I pass thru Chicago downtown?

    Do you think it is possible to bypass some of the traffic as I'll be guided by a GPS Navigator?

    Once again, thank you very much!

    Lucio

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,908

    Default

    At that time of day, it is simply not possible to avoid Chicago traffic. The most direct route would go right through downtown Chicago, but even if you take one of the bypasses, you are still going to find a major amount of traffic. Chicago practically has an all-day rush hour, and things won't even really ease up until around 10am.

    If you need to get there the same day, then I wouldn't recommend renting a car. I'd look at the cost of a connecting flight to Cleveland and/or train and bus options onto Sandusky. At least if you have to train/bus, you can take the "EL" from OHare to downtown, and then relax the rest of your journey. Ultimately, to drive this, you're looking at a situation where you'd be traveling for 24 straight hours, and its really not possible to be a safe driver in that situation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I don't know if you got the PM that I've sent you.

    Anyway, I must admit how innocent I was while planning this kind of trip, without having the rush hour in mind. Unfortunately I've already booked (and paid!) the car rental, so it is a point of no return. The scheduled pick up time is 8am, do you think if I postpone this pick up a little, would help? Like 9 or 9:30am?

    Do you think it may take more than 10 hours to drive until Sandusky?

    I'll be travelling with other 3 guys, so we can switch drivers along the way to make things less exhaustive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,333

    Default

    Pick up the car at 10am, take I-294 (Tri-State Tollway) to get out of Chicago - then I-80/94 to the Indiana Toll Road to the Ohio Turnpike. Sandusky is Exit 110 - OH-4. It will take you about 6 hours to get to Cedar Point, and with the time zone change you will arrive around 7pm. You will be able to pay cash tolls all the way, you don't HAVE to use a transponder. Cash tolls will be $21.00, I-Pass/EZ-Pass/I-Zoom tolls are $14.40.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Sweet! Thank you glc! Can I PM you in case I have any other doubts?

    Thanks a lot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,333

    Default

    We do prefer that you ask your questions in this thread!

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